The Los Angeles Times in June reported that Murtha funneled nearly $21 million to 10 or more corporate clients of KSA Consulting, where Robert "Kit" Murtha is a senior partner. Carmen Scialabba, a Murtha congressional aide for 27 years, is also a high-ranking official at KSA.Now one may snort that raising an eyebrow about Murtha's lobbying connections ignores Business as Usual in Washington, yet this cynicism ignores the big picture. An American can look back almost with nostalgia at the Washington lobbying scandals during the waning years of the Cold War, when maneuvers by foreign and US business interests to influence Congress didn't boomerang on US national security -- at least, not enough to raise great alarm. Such is not the case today.
There is no such thing as "domestic" politics for the world's lone superpower nation in today's highly interconnected world -- and in particular not during a globalized asymmetric war launched by America's enemies.
The date of the LA Times article suggests Mr Murtha has had plenty of time of worry that pointed questions about his ethics would mar his next election bid. Murtha's headline-grabbing call to immediately bring US troops from Iraq has made him a quixotic hero in his home congressional district, according to a Big Three nightly news report the other night. (ABC, if my memory serves.)
There might be no connection between John Murtha's call for troop withdrawal and his desire to head off ethics questions, yet Dan turned up another credible source (The Hill newspaper) that raises even more troubling questions about the power that Murtha has accumulated in Washington. The Hill article (linked to in Dan's post) notes:
In 2004, Murtha ranked behind only President Bush and his Democratic opponent, Sen. John Kerry, in overall defense-industry contributions, with $284,750.So I find it disturbing that the major broadcast media (and, it seems, the mainstream media in general) have not sought to question Mr Murtha about his motive for demanding immediate US troop withdrawal from Iraq.
President Bush, on the other hand, is always fair game: the media examine every sentence he utters, every action he takes with regard to Iraq, in light of speculations about his political motives.
That's not a level playing field, which tilts to the enemy's advantage.